April 2011 Archives

Awake: 6:18am     Temp 50     sleep 6+36      sunny--warm      overnight @ Nicktown.

      About 8:15 am this morning, 84-Lumber arrived & backed up close to our house. DSC000682.JPG         They were delivering nearly all of our inside doors for the main floor & basement. DSC000683.JPG After our KK meeting, Kathy motored to Carrolltown for a check on her blood pressure. It was good & the doctor was pleased.

Our forwarded mail arrived from Alaska late morning...so I spent some time going through the bundles.

Sometime around 4:40pm, my sister Corinne arrived to share the rest of the afternoon & evening with us + dinner & maybe a movie. DSC000684.JPG But 1st, Kathy served a deviled egg, some Triscuits & 1/3 of an apple as an appetizer. Then we gave Corinne a tour of our house, which she missed the last time she visited.

Dinner: Chicken Cacciatore with penne pasta, mixed salad & Como toast.

Afterward, I suggested a Nun movie, "Black Narcissus" for Corinne & Kathy to watch (while I did the dishes) since I had already seen this thriller.

We think Corinne figured out the plot way before the ending. I should have suggested an aviation movie.

We enjoyed seeing Corinne looking so comfortable in our motorhome. She left a little after 9:00 pm.

Lights out for us: 12:23am.
Awake: 8:15am Temp 57 sleep 7:11 cloudy -heavy rain later overnight @ Nicktown.

Late morning (our time) Nick Skyped us for an hr; it was Momoko who woke everyone up @ the Nick & Eriko home this morning. Jerry & Nick looked like they both could have used another hour or two of sleep. But when Momoko came trotting across the room to the camera, she was all smiles with big eyes.

They wished us a "Happy Easter" & we returned the same. We asked what they were doing special for Easter & Nick said they were invited to Zack & Katie's place for fun & food. Nick suspected that we would be visiting the Foote Castle & he was right on. Nick also talked about the extra work he was getting into since becoming part of the bigger EMT Company.
Our time went quickly on Skype so we both wished each other a good day & when off line.

Next, we motored to the Foote Castle & were greeted by (3) very eager boys; (Gregory was napping). It was like they already had chocolate but Mel & Kevin said: "not yet."

One thing I've heard so much about before arriving @ the Castle was: "The Menu." Matthew put this menu together for Easter Sunday & truly wanted to make it all himself. DSC000677.JPG Of course, Kevin did have other plans that were just a touch more healthy. Even Kathy got in on the meal program by bringing deviled eggs & a huge mixed salad. Before the dinner goodies were displayed, Melissa surprised us adults with a choice of Ices: cranberry apple, apple or water; all frozen on sticks. It was a nice treat.

                 Gregory joined us after his nap & here you see him testing his Icy. DSC000678.JPG                    After the test, Gregory seemed quite satisfied that it was edible. DSC000679.JPG               Nathan built his triangle of fire trucks while patiently waiting for his Icy. DSC000680.JPG                       And Andrew, with his apple Icy, likes what he's licking. DSC000681.JPG Corinne drove in from Pittsburgh, joined us for dinner & then she will spend some time with Don & Josie in Ebensburg.

Dinner: baked ham, mashed potatoes, green beans with cheese sauce, Kathy's deviled eggs & mixed salad.

After the boys' showers, it was treat time. Kathy gave them little boxes of M & M's, nuts, & a Ferrero Roacher chocolate. I had given the (3) older boys each a small key chain light that shines red when pushing the button. It also contained a small compass but the boys had the most fun using the light as a taser beam to pretend to shock us adults or "scaring" us.

Melissa presented the Senior Foote gifts, sent from Montana: chocolate covered marshmallow crosses. And Melissa & Kevin gave them crosses made of white chocolate. Wow, sugar high on its way! The boys were fairly active before the sweets, what will they be like now? Melissa is counting on (hoping for) a fast drop after the sugar high!

Before 6:00pm, we thanked Melissa & Kevin for their gracious dinner & extra goodies & said our goodbyes to the boys & returned to Nicktown. En route, we were slowed down quite a few times due to accumulated water on the highways. Mid evening, Katrina called us & we each exchanged stories of our activities of the day.

Late movie: "Dog Day Afternoon" with Al Pacino, John Cazale, Charles Durning, James Brodderick, Chris Sarandon, Sully Boyar, Penny Allen, etc. Incredible-but-true story of a loser who holds up a Brooklyn bank to raise money for his lover's sex-change operation, and sees simple heist snowball into a citywide incident. Pacino's performance and Lumet's flavorful N.Y.C atmosphere obscure the fact that this is much ado about nothing. Frank Pierson won an Oscar for his screenplay. Great story & it really happened.

Lights out:11:42pm.
Awake: 6:58am      Temp 46       sleep 6+22       mostly sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After we had our morning coffee, Kathy & I waited for a knock on our door as Mike & Denise suggested last night. Sure enough, about 8:15am, M & D were ready to get some breakfast.

In our Suzuki, we all motored to Spangler, taking a side brick road thru the area we called, "Kirsch Town" where I was born & raised. I pointed out our old homestead that a young 1st cousin bought & has renovated; not only the home but the grounds & landscape. (5) of my dad's brothers lived within ¼ mile in Kirsch Town so there were plenty of cousins to play & hang out with during our teenage years.

Our breakfast @ Rolands was delicious & the owner, Roland, the sculptor of metal art, entertained us by describing some of his very heavy metal sculptures ....especially the (400) lb bear right next to our breakfast table.

Back on our property, we gave D & M a tour of our house; then they give us a tour of their brand new Northern Lite slide in camper. Yes, it's a little tight in there, but they have a queen sized bed, a (3) burner propane stove, propane refrigerator/freezer, propane heater, bathroom with a "wet" shower & it's very well constructed....having been made in Canada. DSC000674.JPG             Mike says his Dodge Diesel truck has no problem carrying the camper. DSC000675.JPG Then we said our goodbyes & bon voyage; we wish they could have stayed longer but maybe next time.                                      They left @ 11:40am. DSC000676.JPG Mid afternoon, I called John B. who has not been seen in church or @ the KK meeting for about (5) days. He's alive & getting well after catching a horrific cold.

Dinner: leftover beef stew with grapes & Como toast.

Late evening, we attended the 9:00pm Easter vigil Mass which lasted nearly (2) hrs.

Lights out: 1:04 am.
Awake: 6:09am     Temp 36    sleep 6+11    overcast---off & on rain    overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I visited the workers ...busy laying the Bamboo flooring in the basement. Bernie was @ home doing some paper work & will return later.

Late afternoon, we had a call from Denise & Mike; our dear friends from Alaska. They winter in Everglade City Florida & stay in Anchorage, Alaska during the summer.

As I understand it, they purchased a "Northern Lite" slide in camper en route in South Carolina & plan on 1st, seeing their Godson, Matthew, in Indiana, PA, & then us for overnight. Tomorrow they will continue their traveling to Michigan to spend time with family & friends over Easter & then continue to Anchorage, AK.

Just before noon, UPS delivered some Carbonized Strand-woven Bamboo "T" Molding for the threshold & stair-nose. DSC000673.JPG Later, Don & Josie visited us in our M.H. & we caught each other up on our activities. Then we gave them a tour of our house &, after that, motored to Spangler & enjoyed a fish fry dinner @ the Contres-Greer Social Hall.

Then we said our goodbyes to D & J as we were expecting to hear from Mike & Denise this evening. Around 8ish, onto our circular drive came this odd shaped truck with camper. Yes, it was Denise & Mike. After getting Mike's camper plugged in, we updated each other for a good hr in our M.H., & then we suggested a visit to the Nicktown Bar for a Black & Tan beer... & more gab time. About 10:30pm, Mike was showing signs of his long day & so they said their goodnight's & went to their camper.

We too, went to our camper & finished watching the movie: "Gallipoli" with Mark Lee, Mel Gibson, Bill Kerr, Robert Grub, David Argue, & Tim McKenzie. Youthful idealists Lee and Gibson enlist in the military, meet their fate in title WW1 battle. Engrossing human drama with meticulous direction, striking feel for period detail. Final freeze-frame shot is reminiscent of Robert Capa's classic Spanish Civil War Photo of soldier at the moment of death. 1981. Getting accustomed to the British dialect was a challenge for us....as it took (3) different evenings to watch it all. A stupid & ridiculous war; you won't believe it but it's definitely true. Lights out:12:36am.
Awake: 6:19am     Temp 39      sleep 6+56      partly sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, K & I visited Bernie & Kathy discussed some of the tile to be laid by Chuck in the near future.

I brought up the subject of moving the outside water tank, only (1) electrical meter, etc. Bernie told me he is ready for these changes.

After breakfast, I motored to Ebensburg & visited Natcher's equipment & his method of attack. He told me he would pick a day next week to come down & look things over.

Then I drove over to Scanlan Electric & borrowed some of their Residential Lighting Control Catalogs. DSC000672.JPG When I returned to Nicktown, Kathy was ready for Chuck (the tile guy) to arrive & help us out with the bathrooms, showers, etc. We made some good progress as Chuck spent an hr with us altogether. DSC000671.JPG Dinner: Stuffed peppers & Como toast.

Mid evening, Katrina called on her way home from Costco; we talked for (40) some minutes...mostly about her being ill upon her return from Seattle, some of her friends, her church & her Easter plans.

Next call: Mark Brumbaugh & Marcia; now in Ohio but could be heading this way en route to Vermont. We invited them to stop & pay us a visit if they could. We haven't seen these guys since 2005.

Next call was from Melissa who wanted to know if Denise had called us; she hadn't. Denise & Mike (Matthew's godparents) are traveling from FL to MI & plan to visit the Footes & us tomorrow.

Nathan & Kevin are doing better with their asthma now that they're on the right meds.

Late evening: we watched (10) mins more of "Gallipoli."

Lights out: 11:58pm.
Awake: 6:37am Temp 61 sleep 7+01 windy & sprinkles overnight @ Nicktown.

K & I visited Bernie for a check on what he might have us do today. We couldn't help but notice the progress on the basement ceiling with all the white Molding.  DSC000668.JPG After breakfast, Kathy motored to Indiana, PA to baby sit Matthew, Andrew & Gregory while Melissa took Nathan & Kevin to the doctor in Clymer. Kathy expected to be in charge for only an hr or so, but she got to enjoy (3) good hrs.

Mostly, she played the game of "Life" with Matthew (who is quite a good reader now) & Andrew while entertaining Gregory on the side. At one point an ambulance siren sent Andrew & Matthew running to the front window. Upon their request, Kathy & the (3) boys walked to the site of the accident to watch the tow trucks haul the cars away; such excitement! Then it was back to the game.

Meanwhile, I called Natcher Drilling Inc & made an appointment to visit them tomorrow to discuss my plan of moving our water tank inside the basement as well as the phone system; and to use only (1) electrical meter instead of (2) plus a few other changes.

Mid afternoon, I took a stroll over to the house & witnessed more Molding on our master bedroom ceiling.  DSC000669.JPG                              And our guest bedroom has a good looking floor. DSC000670.JPG Next, I called for our Alaska mail to be sent.

Kathy also did some grocery shopping before returning home.

Dinner: Reuben sandwich with red grapes & chips.

We watched (30) min of the movie: "Gallipoli."

Lights out: 11: 23pm.

Awake: 6:21am    Temp 46    sleep 6+34    off & on light-heavy rain    overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, K & I visited the construction team & Kathy had a lot of questions for Bernie. Back in our M.H., both of us were thankful for a working computer today, especially for Kathy who uses her Apple for comparing, bargaining, ordering, etc of many things a new house needs.

My time was divided with both financial maneuvering & keeping track of our expenditures.

Dinner: Tuna fish, rice with golden raisins, mixed salad & Como toast.

Mid evening, our political programs were blocked out by some fast moving TRW's.

Lights out: 11:36pm.

Awake: 6:00am       Temp 36       sleep 6+11      mostly cloudy       overnight @ Nicktown.

Early this morning, I had an e-mail from Nick that a computer failed & he is working on a fix that may have caused our problem.

After our coffee, we made a quick visit to ask Bernie some questions & then motored to Spangler. We talked with Lloyd about the Ford van, & then I drove the van & Kathy drove the Suzuki both of us heading for Barnesboro & Al's Tire Service.

An almost leak on the top of the radiator was my concern & the passenger side front brake should be looked at. The van will be there for a few days.

Back in our M.H., we had our breakfast & then motored to the town of Freeport, about (58) miles from Nicktown where we again visited Blume's. Michelle has been working with us since the last visit. Blume's have an inside showroom, DSC000665.JPG                                                 And outside displays. DSC000666.JPG                                      Plus outside remnant displays. DSC000667.JPG               Kathy made a decision on the granite for the kitchen counter, Bross Blue. DSC000664.JPG
 and considered some possible choices for other counters. Michelle copied some figures down with Kathy closely watching & then we returned to Nicktown.

Our pure water tank was getting low so I did my water works & topped off the tank.

Back in our M. H., I had another e-mail from Nick posted @ 1:43pm: "Dad, I may have fixed your blog. Please see if you can create a new entry and let me know how it goes."

Well, it worked like a charm. I thanked him profusely.

Dinner: power burger, with sauteed onions, fresh broccoli,4-bean salad & Como toast.

Mid evening, we had a long talk with Gary & Rosemary..... mostly about plans for Zack & Katie's wedding.

Lights out: 11:47pm.
Awake: 7:00am    Temp 35    sleep 6+48    windy/rain, most of day    overnight @ Nicktown.

When waking this morning, Kathy said: "let me be the 1st to wish you a: Happy 40th Wedding Anniversary." Oops! I had forgotten all about that. I should have been suspicious about those calls last night; they were waiting for me to be forgetful. However, if my memory is correct, a few years ago my young blushing bride did the same thing, but I can't prove it.

Anyway, Corinne called & wished us a Happy 40th Anniversary, followed by Gary & Rosemary, Mark & Joan (with whom we played catch-up about our families), & later evening, Melissa. And I think Nick tried to Skype us with the same greetings but our computers were down. So, thank you guys, for your thoughtfulness.

Dinner: Leftover Italian sausage, noodles, small salad & Como toast.

We didn't celebrate the occasion but we felt blessed to be together all these years. We finished watching the movie: "A Summer place" with Richard Egan, Dorothy McGuire, Sandra Dee, Arthur Kennedy, Troy Donahue, Constance Ford, etc. Lushly photographed (by Haly Strading) soaper of adultery and teenage love at resort house on Maine coast. Excellent Max Steiner score (the theme was a big hit); based on the Sloan Wilson novel. 1959. This is a Warner Brothers movie...& they usually have a message. The night was young & naturally, Kathy was beautiful, so we began watching another movie called: "Gallipoli." We watched ½.

Lights out: 11:49pm.  
Awake: 6:26am     Temp 44      sleep 6+14     rain...heavy @ times     overnight @ Nicktown.

Carol & her granddaughter, Cor, arrived @ 9:55am ....so the "angel" & Kathy could add the finishing touches to the pearlized hex ceiling circle. Here you see the hex circle with lights on. DSC000660.JPG                                 And here is the Hex circle with lights off. DSC000661.JPG The pearlized effect can be seen either way. Now let's have a look after the inspector really looked it over. DSC000662.JPG Back @ our M.H., for some odd reason, I was having trouble logging on to http://blogs.kirsch.org/mt/mt.cgi; &, not wanting to bug our boys for ideas, I tried many ways to bring my computer back to life.... while spending too much time to figure out: "what was happening."

In lieu of having more frustrating moments, I opted to motor to the Community Center & exercised for 1.5 hrs. Back @ the M.H., & on my computer, the same symptom prevailed; who should I call? Not the Ghost Busters but our young guru Zack.

 Zack answered my call & told me if Google doesn't work, then your computer is not @ fault. Gosh, I tried Google several times & sure enough, it didn't work.

Then I sent an e-mail to Nick & described my problems. So, no computer for me today & no answer from Nick! He is obviously busy.

My sister, Mary Jo, called from CA. She talked briefly to Kathy & that was it. Kathy relayed a message that she had been in bed for (2) days with stomach flu & tho better was feeling very weak.

Melissa also called & didn't talk very long due to small children waking up.

Dinner: Soup: (carrot & Coriander) & Como toast.

Later K & I attended 6:00pm Mass in Nicktown & afterward, Theresa, John, Kathy & I enjoyed some pizza with beer. Would you believe, moments before leaving for church, the rain subsided, the sun came out & the rest of the evening was blissful. DSC000663.JPG                        Back in our M.H., K & I watched 2/3rds of: "A Summer Place."

Lights out: 12:13am.
Awake: 6:00am       Temp 41      sleep 6+34      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

After our KK meeting, Kathy motored to C & L Installers to pick up some tile samples that she ordered & on to Ebensburg where she made (3) stops.

John B called & wanted to know if I could locate an airplane that, years ago, belonged to his older brother. Now his older brother would like to know where it is & if it is still flying. He said the aircraft number was: N83939.
                        So I had Google help me out. In no time @ all, up came this info. DSC000658.JPG If I wanted more info, I would have to become a member & probably shell out some $$. I left John a message with the limited data. Later in the day, John thanked me for the info I had gotten. He wanted more so without signing up for anything else, I'll do my best.

About 2:15pm, K & I dressed for a photo op that our Saint Nicholas parish has for a directory. The price is zero & you get one free photo of your choosing with options to buy many more. It didn't take long & the photographer was very professional.

Back on our property, we visited the construction team before they left for the weekend. Kathy & I both had questions. We also saw their method of spray painting the Molding & having a quicker & reasonable drying system. DSC000659.JPG Dinner: Cod fish, spinach salad, & Como toast.

Lights out: 12:12am.
Awake: 5:56am      Temp 34       sleep 6+36      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

Before breakfast, Kathy scraped ice off our Suzuki's windshield & then motored to Miners Hospital for blood work. Yes, winter is still hanging on here in Nicktown.

Mid morning, Kathy's angel, Carol, visited & she brought a sample board of the pearlized paint that they will be painting on the ceiling hex circle later today. DSC000652.JPG And finally, UPS delivered most of our Bamboo flooring early afternoon. The driver was also confused as to where our new address is, so he parked on the street while Kathy tried to talk him in using our Brick cordless phone & I walked over to wave him onto our Saint Paul street. DSC000653.JPG                  Here the driver is unloading the Bamboo onto our warm garage floor. DSC000654.JPG This special blue foam will be laid down under the Bamboo flooring. This is called: a floating floor & the floor heat will be absorbed by both the blue foam & the Bamboo. DSC000655.JPG This load of Bamboo will cover the basement floor & about ½ of the main floor. DSC000656.JPG Meanwhile, Kathy did (2) loads of laundry & I provided the extra pure water to make it possible.

          Around 3:45, the angel Carol returned so she & Kathy could paint the hex circle. DSC000657.JPG Dinner: crab cakes, broccoli, multi grain sticky rice & Como toast.

Lights out: 11:26pm.
Awake: 6:56am      Temp 43        sleep 6+28      light rain      overnight @ Nicktown.

At our KK meeting this morning, Kathy enjoyed a nice "welcome back" by the members.

Back in our M.H., we called our good friends, Gary & Rosemary. Kathy did most of the talking as she gave them the scoop on both the Chicago & Seattle bridle showers & on our Seattle grandchildren.

After our phone call, Kathy was somewhat mystified that her Apple computer wasn't working. "It worked just fine in Chicago & Seattle but it wasn't working here," she explained. She did say that Nick had spent some time with it but aside from changing something over to G mail, she knows of nothing else. I didn't really focus on her Apple since she had figured out a lot of glitches since getting her Apple book.

Finally my Tax return showed up. Our new address is not well known yet so it confused the FDX guy by a day. DSC000648.JPG After the construction team had left for the day, K & I visited the house & looked for progress change: here is some of the molding waiting to be painted & then put up. DSC000649.JPG                   The Extreme blowers/dryers are ready to dry & warm those hands. DSC000650.JPG                            And most of the windows have the molding finished. DSC000651.JPG Dinner: split pea soup, turkey loaf with gravy & 4-bean salad, olives & Como toast.

Melissa called: she wanted Kathy to tell her all about the activity after they left...every single day....& by golly, she did a darn good job of explaining the days with detail.

Lights out: 11:20pm.
Awake: 5:54am Temp 46 sleep 6+19 rain---wind & cloudy overnight @ Nicktown.

Phone calls; quite a few; some inbound, some outbound. Some business & some social. I wasn't real excited to bounce out into the nasty weather & visit the construction team this morning, but if I had a rig like this guy, I might have. DSC000647.JPG But later this morning, without hinting, Bernie visited me. I gave him the latest update I had from Doug about the Bamboo delivery & Bernie let me know that they are getting close to finishing the molding on the windows.

The afternoon went too quickly; I wanted to re-organize our living room a little before driving to Pittsburgh, but ran out of time to do that.

Dinner: a Rubin sandwich with Thousand Island dressing.

I left Nicktown @ 6:30 pm en route to Pittsburgh International Airport. Rain most of the way until I was thru the Fort Pitt Tunnel, then the rain became a drizzle.

Ever so slowly I idled passed the arrival terminal looking for Kathy & then I parked.... I knew I couldn't stay very long & sure enough, I was chased out to make another circle. This time, I spotted Kathy out ahead of me. She was all smiles & told me she missed my 1st pass by about (10) seconds. The return drive to Nicktown seemed a bit quicker ...perhaps having a pretty gal to talk with made the difference.

Kathy unloaded her suit case & showed me the few things she had purchased in the big city of Seattle.

Lights out: 12:28am.
Awake: 6:43am     Temp 65     sleep 6+51    windy...little sun...rain    overnight @ Nicktown.

Doug, the Bamboo salesman, called & told me he can ship our bamboo for the basement floor on Wednesday/Thursday. There will be (60) boxes which equates to (1130) ft & the pads.
                Also, the REA guys visited & are installing the main floor ceiling vents..... DSC000644.JPG                                                           & returns. DSC000645.JPG                And the vanity cabinet for the master bathroom is slowly taking shape. DSC000646.JPG                       Some of the guys are doing the window moldings. No photo.

Dinner: split pea soup with oyster crackers & Como toast, Italian sausage with tomato sauce, & a spinach salad.

Kathy called using her cell phone. We updated each other &, of course, she was having the most fun. Jerry & Kathy stayed home & played while Eriko went off to conduct her weekly rhythm class. Eriko & Jerry needed to renew their Japanese passports, so in the afternoon all went to Costco to get their pictures taken & then on to the Japanese Consulate to fill out the paperwork. How about that!

Lights out: 11:35pm. 
Awake: 7:14am      Temp 43       sleep 6+00        sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

1st thing this morning, I emptied the (4) de-humidifiers in the house. Every time I do this, less water I find & that's a good sign.

Such a beautiful day, I felt like traveling somewhere; so I called Melissa & asked if I might come over for a few hrs & spend some time with the boys after your church service. She was delighted to hear this offer & so was I.

In my attempts to stay ahead of the weather, I thought I'd better top off our M.H.'s pure water tank before I leave. Just think, I don't have to have layers of clothing on with gloves & a warm hat; I know both of my pump houses are warm & not frozen & the (2) light bulbs in each pump house have been shut off now for the winter, saving us electricity. Also my portable water filters won't be frozen if I leave them sitting on the ground for a spell. There are a few other things that this warm weather helps with the water works but I'm sure I have said enough.

After my breakfast, I motored over to the Foote Castle. I assumed that the boys would be in their back yard with this nice weather but no one was there. Walking toward the front entrance, I spotted Matthew; he was sort of organizing things on the front porch. Inside the castle, Kevin had just started making dinner. The other (3) boys had just left the back porch to begin making mud pies in the yard. I quickly realized that my chosen attire for this visit could be in jeopardy. Matthew however, had a different plan of Easter egg hiding & finding. That idea was in competition with the making mud pies. Yes, the hidden eggs were found ok but the mud pie attraction is in vogue but something even better is brewing. Gregory can feel the change coming. DSC000639.JPG The heck with the mud pies, brown shoes look cool & feel cool. Nathan's new shoes; DSC000640.JPG                 Then everyone was looking @ Nathan & Matthew's new brown shoes. DSC000641.JPG The tomboy neighbor, Mired, who changed her clothes to brown so she wouldn't look so muddy, is looking @ those new brown shoes. DSC000642.JPG                 Why, even Kinley the dog, was amazed at such a feat for the Footes. DSC000643.JPG Melissa had forgotten that Mathew & Andrew had their swimming lessons @ 5:00pm, so they had to wash up & get ready for the clear water with Kevin leading the way.

Melissa had made a few tasty smoothies for the kids & us adults & Kevin made some adult food for us before I left...so I did manage to keep my attire out of harms way & it was just plain fun watching those boys manufacture a new style of brown shoes.

Back @ the M.H., Corinne & I had arranged to get connected today via phone & update each other. She was free @ 7:30pm & we did get some good ole fashion brother-sister talk time for @ least (35-40) min & that was nice.

Late evening, Zack Skyped me; he was looking for his mother....thinking I would know where she is. "Well, no I don't know where she is. Did you try her cell phone?" I asked. "Yes, but she didn't answer" he said. Anyway, Zack & I talked for (11) min & then he signed off to continue his hunt. High temp today=75.

Lights out: 11:52pm.
Awake: 5:59am       Temp 34      sleep 6+11      overcast      overnight @ Nicktown.

After the KK meeting, I returned to our M.H. & found a few calls waiting; Gary C. was one of them. I am glad they are back. Gary & I talk a lot so it's good to hear his voice again.

Today is grocery shopping day for me. I am getting low on a number of food items so I motored to the Ebensburg Wal-Mart store.

En route, I stopped @ the Sheets fuelling station, topped our Suzuki's fuel tank for a little over $45 $ & then did my shopping. I spent about as much for the fuel as I did for the groceries... & I didn't get that many groceries. DSC000638.JPG Back in our M.H., a few more calls were waiting; the best one was from Queen Anne Hill in Seattle; the party animals were ready to Skype. This time, my computer worked great....for about (5) min, & then I switched over to the cordless phone; my old Dell is not powerful enough to handle the newest & greatest signals.

We talked for close to (30) min, covering most of the activity & places they have gone & things they had done. Gosh, it all sounded like fun, & I'm missing all of this. Then the ladies had to get ready for their 2nd Bridal Shower so I reluctantly let them go.

Next, I went to our community center & exercised for a mere (45) min. I'm starting out slow so I won't hurt myself....& I have done that before.

Dinner: left over beef stew, with Como toast.

Later, I attended the vigil Mass @ Nicktown & afterward, Barry, Theresa, John & I got together & had some good conversations along with our good beer. The bar & restaurant was very crowded; I had never seen so many people in this hotel before. Movie: A private screening: on James Garner. That was most interesting.

Lights out:1:14am.
Awake: 5:18am     Temp 37     sleep 5+56     rain--most of day      overnight @ Nicktown.

I visited Bernie shortly after they drove into our circular drive. The rest of the workers, except Bob, are back on our job. Bernie & I talked about electrical receptacles & matching the receptacle color to the room color.

I also gave him an update on what Doug told me yesterday about our Bamboo flooring; he thinks they will be able to round up enough of the flooring to ship it next week sometime. He will let us know.

After our KK meeting, I noticed an REA truck parked on the west side of our house. I wanted to catch those guys before they leave & get some more schooling. It turned out that only Mike had stopped in from a job in Barnesboro. Mike answered most of my questions which made me understand a few things a lot better on the Geo system. DSC000635.JPG In the motor home, my mechanical mouse for my computer has been misbehaving itself for a few weeks now....so I decided to give it a thorough cleaning. Just as I was on the last step of getting the clam shell open, (2) very small springs & a few other parts flew across the table; fortunately none of those parts went overboard. DSC000636.JPG So I did a good clean-up job on the small parts & inside the clamshell but, to figure out how those tiny parts get back together again was another story. About (20) min later, frustration was on my heels, so to calm myself down, I called my high-tech buddy, Ray, in Ocean Park, WA & asked him if he had any experience on a mechanical mouse. He did, he told me. He took one apart & when trying to put it together, he couldn't, so he bought a new one. Well, that's not what I expected to hear. We chatted a while longer & slowly my frustration faded away...so I thanked Ray for calming me down, & then I got serious about getting those little parts back together again. It took about (40) calm minutes but the mechanical mouse is back in business. Dust & dirt was the culprit. DSC000637.JPG This day was perfect for doing this kind of thing; heavy rain, wind, etc. Oh by the way, the alarm clock I worked on is partially fixed but I am setting it aside for now.

Dinner: leftover tuna & noodles, olives, 4-bean salad, rice express & grapes.

Mid evening, Gary C. called; they are back in town. We did a little updating via phone tonight but we will talk more later.

Lights out: 11:48pm.
Awake: 5:56am       Temp 37      sleep 5+53       sunny       overnight @ Nicktown.

Finally a beautiful day is upon us. Bernie is the only worker this day due to another short job in Barnesboro that the rest of the team is taking care of. Just before noon, Scott from REA paid us a short visit, peeked @ the geothermal & then talked with Bernie about bamboo flooring. DSC000632.JPG Also, Jeff, my tax man from Alaska called. We owe the government....Nothing. Hip, hip. And now, we have a front door & a transom on our home. DSC000633.JPG                            And here is the latest photo of our hex & what's in it. DSC000634.JPG Late afternoon, I went to our community center & did some light exercising. That felt good & I need to make it a habit.

Dinner: mini meat loaf, mixed salad, grapes & Como toast.

Late evening, Eriko & Kathy tried to Skype me...but for whatever reason, I could hear them talking but couldn't see them; they couldn't see or hear me talking either...so we texted each other & got the message thru. Apparently Kathy's cell phone was acting up as well.

Lights out: 11:22pm.
Awake: 5:46am     Temp 26     sleep 5+40      off & on flurries     overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy e-mailed with an attached note from our Bamboo storage guy Doug; his note says: we just noticed a large leak in our warehouse (assuming from this rough winter) & the section of our warehouse with the 5" Carbonized & a few other floors has a lot of water leakage. Most of your boxes have been damaged & are not usable.

He wrote that he could not apologize enough & they are frantically looking for a way to take care of all of our clients in your shoes. Then he offered options. Kathy wrote & selected another width size & I agreed with that idea. This of course will hold up Bernie & his crew from starting the floor laying for awhile. After I called Doug & gave him our selection from the options, he got right after his guys to seek out that different width & the amount.

                      Close to 9:00am, 84-lumber drove into our circular driveway. DSC000627.JPG                                 Our entry door with side lights had arrived. DSC000628.JPG & along with the door, there are sheets of plywood for the underlay of the Bamboo. DSC000629.JPG When I returned from watching the guys unload, I thought I'd better check on that mouse from yesterday. I opened the hood & what do I see? Nothing! My trap with peanut butter was gone. Aha, underneath the car was my trap & that singed somewhat furry varmint was caught dead handed. DSC000630.JPG After that, I disposed of the creature & took a picture of the brick & mortar that we are considering for our house. DSC000631.JPG                              Later I attended the 6:00pm Mass in Nicktown.

Dinner: leftover filled peppers, 4-bean salad, mandarin orange slices & Como toast.

Then with some popcorn, I finished watching: "Black Narcissus" with Emeric Pressburger, Deborah Kerr, David Farrar, Sabu, Jean Simmons, Kathleen Byron, etc. Visually sumptuous, dramatically charged movie, from Rumer Godden novel, about nuns trying to establish a mission in a remote Himalayan outpost amid formidable physical and emotional challenges. One of the most breathtaking color films ever made (winning Oscars for cinematographer Jack Cardiff and art director Alfred Junge.) Scenes in which Sister Superior Kerr recalls her former life. 1947. Great story.

Lights out: 12:03am.
Awake: 6:38am    Temp 35    sleep 6+54    rain...snow flurries     overnight @ Nicktown.

When I returned from the KK meeting, Jamie, the Culligam man, left a message to call him. When I did, he asked me if 12:30pm today would be ok to test your well water. "That will be fine" I told him.

Meanwhile, I ate breakfast & then tried to post a journal day on my blog. After several attempts to log on to our family web site & getting nowhere, I figured Nick was updating, testing or whatever, so I turned my computer off & found something else to do. Jamie, the Culligan man, arrived right on his schedule. I greeted him & then set up the well water with hose so he could easily use his traveling laboratory. DSC000623.JPG After several samples, he wanted to see inside the house where the water would be going. In the geothermal room, I showed Jamie our (78) gallon hot water heater & the area where the filtration will likely take place. He took some measurements & a lot of notes. DSC000624.JPG He has been doing this line of work for many yrs & knows his business. We spent over an hr on the water works & then I told him I would be in touch sometime later. By the way, snow flurries were flying throughout our outside testing time; it was so nice to be in the 70 degree house for awhile.

Next, I motored to Spangler & visited Lloyd, the transmission man. He showed me the finished transmission but they are waiting for a part being made in Pittsburgh that Lloyd is cautiously replacing. DSC000625.JPG En route to the M.H., I stopped @ the post office to check our mail. When starting the engine, a good size plume of smoke was emitted from the exhaust pipe & the engine acted strange.

After I parked next to our M.H., I opened the hood & what do I see looking straight @ me...all dirty, singed, nervous & eager to get out of this heat? A mouse! He scooted into an area of the engine I couldn't get near. I kept the hood open & pondered my next move.

After running the engine again & seeing no escaping critters, I decided to move the Suzuki close to the well water & let the engine cool off a bit. During the cooling time, I moved (1) of the mouse traps with peanut butter from our basement & sat it close to where the mouse disappeared. DSC000626.JPG                    Look closely to see the loaded mouse trap....middle of engine.

About (40) min later, I started the engine again & using the well water hose, I flushed that water all over the engine, nooks & crannies etc. ...Still no mouse.

Ok, so I parked the car back near our entry M.H. door, put the mouse trap on the engine where the hood would not set it off when I closed it & proceeded to do more productive things.

In the meantime, our family web site was alive & well when I logged on; Nick had to make a trip downtown & rebooted his Isilon storage unit. He had no idea why that shutdown happened.

Dinner: leftover beef stew, mixed salad & red grapes.

Melissa called mid evening; she updated their trip to & from Chicago. She enjoyed the Bridal Shower & the people etc, but when you have (4) ambitious boys to watch closely, it's kind of tough to be real social. They were delighted with their hotel also; it was close to an airport, the tram or maybe the "L" system & the highway. That corner of the building had like (4) windows & very sound-proofed, so that kept the boys busy watching airplanes, the train, or "L", & the highway below.

Traveling in the Toyota van had its plusses & minuses. Melissa enjoyed being closer to her boys as she could reach them easier & not have to talk so loud when story-telling. The down side....it was crowded. I also updated Melissa on the transmission progress which I explained earlier. I had a good chat with Melissa & certainly enjoyed hearing about their trip.

Lights out: 11:54pm.

Awake: 6:20am     Temp 44     sleep 7+17     overcast     overnight @ Nicktown.

After the KK meeting & breakfast in the M.H., I visited the builders who were working diligently on installing the kitchen cabinets. Bernie mentioned that our entry door will be arriving on Wednesday; that will be a nice change. And the popular wood for molding had arrived.

My scheduled Culligan man Jamie, canceled our appointment today due to his grandmother's passing away.

Mid afternoon, John B., his Sister Rita & Brother-in-Law, Mike, visited me & they were so nice I made an exception & gave Rita & Mike a grand tour. John of course, has been on so many tours, he is certainly eligible to start the: "touring for pennies" program any day now. Mike was most intrigued with the geothermal system & Rita enjoyed seeing the many colors.

There is a forecast for severe weather soon so Mike & Rita headed back to Ohio & I thanked John for bringing them over.

@ 3:15pm, the rain began with TRW's & strong winds. This storm, with off & on TRW's, continued throughout the afternoon & evening. None of my recorded programs for the evening were worth trying to watch.

Dinner: Tomato soup with Como toast & oyster crackers; leftover Tuna & noodles & snow peas.

Evening movie with popcorn: "Black Narcissus." I watched another 1/3rd.

Lights out: 11:44pm.

Awake: 6:56am     Temp 30     sleep 6+10     mostly cloudy     overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy called this morning; we talked for about (30) min. She told me the Bridal Shower for Katie & Zack was wonderful. Over (36) people attended so it was difficult to walk around in the house.

Some of Katie's relatives came from Michigan for the occasion & amongst the crowd was Zack's favorite chef; even Kathy was most impressed with his cooking.

I spent some more time with the alarm clock & then motored to Carrollton to pay my respects @ the wake for my buddy's 1st wife.

Dinner: Split pea soup with oyster crackers, & leftover stuffed peppers.

After dinner, my sister Mary Jo called from Lodi, CA. We talked for over an hr updating each other & discussing the upcoming June wedding for Katie & Zack. She also told me that little Matthew is sleeping better now; he likes to be bounced so their contraption does the bouncing for them....whenever necessary.

Evening movie with popcorn: "Black Narcissus." I watched 1/3rd.

Lights out: 11:03pm.

Awake: 6:40am    Temp 28    sleep 6+15    snow....then sunshine      overnight @ Nicktown.

Kathy called @ 7:45am to get Kevin's cell #. She told me her sleep last night was so-so. I was ready to walk out the door so we didn't talk long.

After the KK meeting & breakfast in the M.H., I called my ole buddy Gary & his wife Grace who spent the winter in Florida; we talked for a good hr & updated each other. I enjoyed talking with both of them.

Early afternoon, I tried to repair a (volt-ohm-amp) meter that I picked out of the dumpster; after taking all the plastic armor off, it was obvious that someone had fried a few resisters & diodes beyond recognition. Without a schematic diagram available, this would have been too time consuming to repair...hmm, maybe later. DSC000620.JPG Next, I took apart an alarm clock. I admired the way this unit was built but I'm not too sure if I can repair it.                             I'll need more time. DSC000621.JPG Aside from those two items, I epoxied the sole on one of my Birk's slippers, & the sole on one of my Nike Air shoes. The dumbbells are putting pressure on the Birk's sole with the epoxy in between. DSC000622.JPG Dinner: leftover pork chops, fried noodles, cantaloupe slices & spinach salad.

I attended 6:00pm vigil Mass & afterward, John & I each had a beer @ the Nicktown bar.

Then I did my duty & dumped the water from the de-humidifiers in the house.

Evening TV: "Lord of the Ants." Science.

Lights out: 12:46am.
Awake: 5:03am Temp 27 sleep 6+01 wet snow overnight @ Nicktown. Kathy helped me clean off the Suzuki before we leave Nicktown @ 6:25am. DSC000618.JPG Then we traveled to the Pittsburgh International Airport...to catch her boarding time of 10:00am.

Finally a break for Kathy with little or no decision making. She will spend (4) days in Chicago: attending Katie & Zack's Bridal Shower, & visiting some of her ole classmates living in the Chicago area. Then on Tuesday, she is scheduled to fly on to Seattle & join our kids there for another K & Z Bridal Shower. Lucky lady I say. Just look @ that smile! Lucky me too. DSC000619.JPG Snow flakes were flying most of the way to Pittsburgh & on the return, but the roads remained wet.

Driving on U.S. 22, I spotted a FDX truck delivering some boxes, so I followed him & when he stopped, I asked if he could deliver my FDX overnight envelope & save me some time. He checked my Airbill & told me: "not a problem."

When I returned, I visited the construction workers; they were busy putting the cabinets in place. Then I called Kevin on his cell phone; he told me everything was going fairly smooth so far & they were (30) miles from the State of Indiana. I was happy to hear that.

Dinner: Leftover crab cakes, rice express & slices of cantaloupe.

Evening time: I attended the Stations of the Cross @ our church & afterward, Bill, John & I had a beer with some special pizza made only with cheese & mushrooms during lent on Friday.

Lights out: 12:25am.
Awake: 6:34am      Temp 29      sleep 6+32     fog....overcast     overnight @ Nicktown.

                 Oh, how thoughtful of Mother Nature to continue her artistic creations. DSC000613.JPG After our KK meeting & breakfast, we visited our house to see the white cabinets & the finished painted walls. We think Kathy will need a powered elevator in the kitchen. DSC000614.JPG Then I motored to Spangler again & visited Lloyd's Transmission Garage; it was obvious that the Ford van would not be ready to roll early tomorrow morning.

                        A half shell & parts of the Ford's transmission....cleaned up. DSC000615.JPG From here, I went to Barnesboro for new windshield wipers @ Fisher Auto Parts & to top off the Suzuki's fuel tank @ Sheetz. Back in our M.H., Kathy was busy packing for her trip to Chicago for Katie's Bridal Shower on Saturday. Later, I called Melissa & updated her on the van's transmission.
                                More ford transmission parts....cleaned up. DSC000616.JPG                The Footes  are prepared to use their Toyota van for the trip to Chicago.

                 We visited our house again just to see how high those cabinets are!

                     Sure enough...she's gotta have a powered elevator in the kitchen.

Dinner: Pork chops, broccoli, fried noodles, cantaloupe & Como toast.

@ 9:30pm, I dumped out what little water accumulated in the (4) de-humidifiers in our house.

Lights out: 11:02pm

Awake: 6:42am    Temp 26     sleep 7+01     cloudy then snow     overnight @ Nicktown.

1st thing this morning, Kathy dressed & visited Bob to check on the paint color in the Powder room & the entry color; she liked both. After breakfast, I motored to Spangler & visited Lloyd's Automatic Transmission Repair garage. They had just removed the Ford's transmission & had it on a roller cart. DSC000611.JPG I talked with Lloyd about the transmission & then returned to Nicktown.

Then later, K & I motored to the Indiana, PA shopping Mall where I dropped Kathy off for some light shopping. Then  I continued to the Culligan water experts & picked up some literature on the latest technology of: getting the iron out of our well water. Next, we proceeded to the Foote Castle to baby sit the boys while I drove Melissa to the Dr. for a check on her new baby. After that, I drove across town & picked Kevin up from the Toyota Dealer & returned him to the University to continue his work day.

The Toyota van will be used for their transportation to Chicago in lieu of the Ford van. When I returned from delivering Kevin to his place of work, Kathy was reading a book with the boys; I was charged up & ready to be a gofer but 1st the boys had to have their snack.

Then it's up to the 3rd floor & more searching for Lego parts for both Andrew & Mathew. I got lucky with Matthew & found quite a few very small parts for his latest van that he cleverly made an easy lift out transmission (simulating the Ford van) & a separate double battery holder. I was so focused that I had left the camera downstairs....so no photo.

Then someone wanted to go to the basement; it was a bit crowded and Andrew was busy making signs for Matthew's workbench...either closed or open he wrote on the signs. DSC000612.JPG Mathew wanted me to wire up an old timer to get the motor running. I did & by gosh, it worked. It was geared so slow I didn't realize it was running until the boys convinced me to watch it closely. The Foote boys are more & more getting to be junior craftsmen. I enjoy working with them.

Evening movie: "Goodbye My Fancy" with Joan Crawford, Robert Young, Frank Lovejoy, Eve Arden. Congresswoman Crawford returns to her old college, more to see former boyfriend Young than to receive honorary degree. Lovejoy is callous newsman. 1951. The movie was so-so.

Lights out: 11:58pm.
Awake: 6:20am       Temp 14       sleep 6+44      sunny      overnight @ Nicktown.

We skipped the KK meeting this morning & visited the painters @ our house; checking the colors in several rooms.

Without having her breakfast, Kathy then left @ 8:30am to return some items she bought last week & to do some more grocery shopping & other shopping. Meanwhile, Jim called @ 8:45am. We are arranging a meeting today @ the Bassett Masonry Inc to select a mortar color.

Later, I made a call to Roger in Texas. I had not heard from him for months. He answered after the 3rd ring & appeared to talk well; after some time passed, I asked him how he is doing. He told me his doctor won't allow him to go anyplace by himself & Maria won't either. He says he can remember many things of (50) yrs ago but he can't remember what he did yesterday. Just about then, the Showcase Kitchen truck pulled into our driveway. DSC000608.JPG Our kitchen cabinets have arrived. I had to excuse myself from the phone call & go outside & watch the unloading process. DSC000609.JPG                                                 A lot of big boxes. DSC000610.JPG Kathy returned @ 11:30am. @ 1:30pm, we were invited to sit @ the conference table @ Bassett Masonry talking with Jim & looking @ various colors of mortar. Jim had other colors but not with him so he said he would stop by tomorrow & show us some more.

Next, we motored to Barnesboro & prepared to pick up the Ford Van, parked outside & looking good. Kathy stayed in the Suzuki while I went into the office. Nettie called for Dave, the mechanic. He came over & sat down beside me. "Monte," he says. "I did every thing on the list that you had, but when I started to drive the van out, only low gear was usable." Then we talked about the history of this van.

To make a long story short: the transmission has been leaking a lot these past years & is shot. What to do now; Kevin & Melissa were counting on this van to take then to Chicago starting early Friday morning. I asked Dave if there were any transmission experts nearby that could get the van fixed in (2) days. Not possible he said, especially since the van is (28) yrs old...and if it needs parts, etc.

But he did mention a guy in Spangler who has a reputation for being: (one of the best) in the area. "Let's call him & see what he can do." I asked Dave. After the phone call, Dave volunteered to get the Ford van to Lloyd ASAP. I hope I'm doing the right thing here.

Early evening, I talked with Melissa about the transmission & the mission impossible for them to have it done before Thursday. She said they would prepare themselves for the much smaller Toyota vehicle if they had to.

I was pretty sad about how this was working out but hopefully, in the long run, it will be OK.

Dinner: Aromatic noodles tine with peanut sauce.

After dinner, Kathy's Angel visited & they both spent some time studying the painting in our house. @ 8:00pm, I visited the house & dumped all the water, which is getting less every night, out of the de-humidifiers.

Lights out: 11:41pm.


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